Election woes: MQM MPA challenges verification of thumb impressions in PS-128

MPA says tribunal order is against the law, court issues notices to ECP.


Our Correspondent October 14, 2013
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who headed the bench, also issued notice to the deputy attorney general for filing comments of the respondent authorities by October 24. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ZAFAR ASLAM

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the ministry of parliamentary affairs and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday on a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) legislator's plea against the verification of voters thumb impressions for PS-128 constituency of Karachi.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who headed the bench, also issued notice to the deputy attorney general for filing comments of the respondent authorities by October 24.

Waqar Hussain, a lawmaker belonging to the MQM, had challenged the election tribunal's order to verify thumb impressions through the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The tribunal had ordered the verification on the request of the Pakistan Muslim League-N's Sultan Khan Johri, who lost the elections to MQM's Hussain.

The petitioner said he had won the election on the PS-128 seat of provincial assembly, defeating his rival. Instead of accepting his defeat, the candidate went to the tribunal seeking verification of thumb impressions and making accusations of rigging and irregularities. Allowing his plea on September 17, the tribunal had ordered NADRA to verify the thumb impressions on counterfoils and submit its report.

The petitioner claimed that the tribunal has passed the verdict in violation of the laws. As the NADRA report is expected to initiate verification process and subsequently submit its report with the tribunal soon, the petitioner pleaded to the court to bar the authority from verification.

After preliminary hearing, the bench issued notices to the parliamentary affairs ministry, the ECP, Johri and the deputy attorney general to file their comments by October 24.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2013.

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